Navigate Up
Sign In

Wait List FAQs

Adult Education

SECTION 1: Understanding Wait Lists

What is a wait list?
Wait List is an online registration feature enables students to sign-up on a wait list to be automatically registered in a class (course and section) that is currently full if and when a seat becomes available. Wait lists ensure that class openings are filled on a first come, first served basis.
How do wait lists work?
When registering online, students may add their name to the wait list for a class that is currently full at any of the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC). If/when a seat opens up, the first person on the wait list will automatically be registered for the class. If/when a second seat opens up, the next person on the wait list will be automatically registered, and so on.
May I register for a given course (such as ENG 101) and simultaneously wait list for a different section of the same course (i.e., ENG 101)?
No. You may either register in an open seat in a given course (subject/catalog number) OR wait list for that course (same subject/catalog number), but not both.
Do I have to pay to be on a wait list?
No, it costs nothing to sign-up on a wait list. However, if a seat opens up and you are automatically registered, you will become financially responsible for the class at that time. Normal payment policies apply.
How many wait lists may I be on?
You may add yourself to a maximum of 12 credit hours worth of wait lists across CCC per term. Each wait listed course must be unique; that is, each course must have a different subject/catalog number. If you sign-up on the maximum number of wait lists (up to 12 credit hours worth) and then fall below the maximum (because you got into a wait listed class or removed yourself from a wait list), then you may wait list for another course (to bring yourself back to the maximum of 12 credit hours worth of wait lists). The objective is to give you the best chance of getting in the courses you need.
During the Summer/Fall registration cycle which runs concurrently for a period, how many wait lists may I be on?
You may add yourself to a maximum of 12 credit hours worth of wait lists for the Summer term and another 12 credit hours worth of wait lists for the Fall term.
Can I waitlist for a class even if it is not full?
No. Wait lists will not be offered until a class is full.
Do all courses have a wait list?
No. Individual colleges decide which courses do and do not have wait lists. Full courses that offer wait lists will automatically be presented to you when registering online.
Will wait lists be offered on pre-credit, vocational, or program-specific courses, such as nursing?
Individual colleges decide which courses do and do not offer wait lists. In addition to regular classroom-based credit courses, colleges may offer wait lists on Developmental Ed courses and/or Center for Distance Learning (CDL) courses. Although there may be exceptions, colleges likely will not initially offer wait lists on Adult Education courses (GED, ESL, or ABE, foundational courses, internship courses, and Signature Program courses.
What are my chances of getting into a class if I sign up on its wait list?
This much is certain: if you do not sign-up on a wait list, you have virtually no chance of getting into a class that is full. Wait lists provide your best chance to get a course you need. Some classes have a lot of “drop” activity, which increases your chances. Also, your place on the wait list has a lot to do with your chances, so the earlier you register and sign-up on wait lists, the better your chances.
What if I get into a wait listed course, but fail to take action (i.e., did not check my CCC email account, didn’t know I got in, don’t have funds to pay, etc.)?
Normal payment policies apply. According to policy, you have two business days to make payment arrangements for any class in which you register. If you fail to make payment arrangements within the required timeframe (for whatever reason), you will be dropped from the class. Visit Pay Tuition & Fees to learn more about payment options. We highly encourage you to check your CCC email account frequently when on a wait list.
How do wait lists benefit me?
By using wait lists, you no longer need to constantly check to see if a seat has opened up in a much needed course. Signing up on a wait list puts technology to work for you by holding your place in line and automatically registering you in the class if/when a seat becomes available. Wait lists also benefit our colleges… and you. They measure demand directly and can be used to trigger additional sections or open more seats in existing sections.

SECTION 2: How to Wait List for a Course

What are the rules for using wait lists?
  • You must be in good standing – no Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) holds, no financial payment deficiencies, not on probation, and no mandatory college advisement restrictions.
  • You must be eligible for the course – meet all prerequisites (or be making successful progress toward completing them in the current term) and any other course entrance requirements.
  • You must have availability on your class schedule for each wait listed class – since registration in a wait listed class is automatic, you must leave open the day/time slot so that no conflicts arise and no rescheduling actions are required if/when you get into a wait listed class.
  • You may not exceed your credit hour limit – the total credit hours of your currently enrolled courses plus wait listed courses may not be greater than the credit hour limit that applies to you.
Can I wait list for a class even if I’m currently enrolled in a prerequisite class and have not received my final grade?
Yes. In-progress prerequisites are allowed. This enables you to register for the next course in an academic program sequence while you are currently enrolled in a prerequisite for the wait listed course. See In-Progress Prerequisite Registration FAQs for additional information.
Is there any limit to the number of students that may sign-up on a given wait list?
Yes. The number of students that may sign-up on a wait list is equal to the maximum number of seats authorized for the specific course.
If a class is full at one college and I wait list the class, will the registration system notify me if the course is available at another college?
No. You must search for the course online determine if it is available at another college. If you find an open class, you may register for it. If you find a full class, you may wait list for it, subject to the maximum of 12 credit hours worth of wait lists across CCC per term​.
How do I sign-up on a wait list?
It's easy. Visit Wait Lists (add my name to a wait list). You can also follow the Wait List Step-by-Step Instructions. The Instructions show how to register online and how to search for classes, in addition to signing up on wait lists. Once you sign-up on a wait list, you will receive an email message sent to your CCC student email account confirming that you have been successfully added to the wait list and providing your numeric position on the list along with other important information.
I’m a part-time student. Can I use wait lists?
Yes. You may use wait lists like any other student.
I am in good standing, but cannot register online for other reasons. How can I use wait lists?
There may be circumstances that prevent you from registering online and taking advantage of wait lists. In this case, contact your Academic Advisor for further direction.
Who can we talk to about wait lists?

SECTION 3: How to Manage My Wait Lists

How will I be notified of my wait list status?
You will receive an email notification sent to your CCC account (i.e., immediately upon successfully signing up on a wait list. Similarly, you will receive a second email notification if/when you are auto-registered in a wait listed class. Accordingly, you should check your CCC email account frequently when on a wait list.
How can I manage my wait lists - check what wait lists I'm on, view my position on a wait list, or remove (drop) myself from a waitlist?
Visit Managing My Wait Lists and step-by step instructions to check which wait lists you are currently on, view your position on each wait list, and learn how to remove (drop) yourself from a wait list.
What is the time frame to “accept” a wait listed class if I get in?
When you sign-up on a wait list, you effectively “accept” the class if/when it becomes available to you. Registration from a wait list is automatic.
Is there a priority wait list? Who gets in first?
As seats open in a class that has a wait list, students will be auto-registered from the top of the wait list strictly on a first come, first served basis. No other priority rules apply.
Will students with canceled classes get priority on a wait list?
No. Course or class cancellations have no bearing on wait lists. Wait lists are managed automatically on a first come, first served basis. No other priority rules apply.
Can I drop other classes for which I previously registered once I know I’ve made it in to a wait listed class?
Yes. Wait list classes have no bearing on your decision to drop other classes. However, you should always consider the academic and financial consequences of dropping classes. In some cases, penalties may apply. Wait lists do not change the circumstances or rules that apply to dropping a class. Speak with your Academic Advisor for more information.
What happens if I wait list two or three classes and all of them become available?
You will be auto-registered in each class as it becomes available to you.
Will wait lists be available after the semester starts, for example, during the first week of class when some students drop classes?
Wait list will be available – and you may be auto-registered – at any time until registration for the respective class ends, typically on the first day of class.

​In adult education, we want to ensure that students have clear pathways to accomplish their goals. For students who are looking to get a job, we will expand the bridge options into basic and advanced certificates. For those students, we believe that we will need to have at least some on-ramps into the College-to-Careers initiative at every major CCC adult education location.  The credentials in this program will contribute to students’ career pathways by allowing them to count classes taken towards additional education. 

For students looking to transition to college, we need to make this process simpler.  We need to make it simpler by replicating some aspects of college (e.g., grades, homework, textbooks) in upper level adult ed classes.  We also need to ease the transition by offering tuition waivers and student support to those who look to transition through the Gateways to City Colleges program.  In both cases, it will be necessary to effectively work with CBOs and community partners to build on existing community efforts to build literacy skills and to work with recent immigrants.  Our pathways need to allow students to progress between the two systems seamlessly.

In 2014, the GED test will go online and contain distinct high school- and college-level pass grades.  In order to prepare for this shift, we will need to increase the quality of our instruction, both structurally and through development of individual instructors.  We will also need to deliver instruction on computers and computer literacy.  By eliminating “general” courses and expanding access to computer labs, we can ensure a successful transition to this new GED regime. 

Our Vision

  • High student awareness of pathways and expectations
  • Rigorously evaluated off-campus adult education provider sites.
  • College transition is a goal discussed throughout a student’s AE tenure and is encouraged in every way possible
  • Measured, high-quality instruction delivered across the district in an even way
  • Ensure that every Chicago resident is aware of and has easy access to ESL, ABE, and ASE classes

Current Initiatives

Gateway to City Colleges Program 

The Gateway to City Colleges Program, launched by the Reinvention Adult Education task force, builds on the successful Truman College Incentive Program to support Adult Education students in their transition to credit
courses. The program offers academic support, career planning, and tuition assistance to high-level ESL and GED students in an effort to support their successful transition to college.

Truman College students account for 45 percent of all Adult Education students across the City Colleges’ system who transition to the credit program. From Fall 2007, when more comprehensive tracking was implemented, to Spring 2011, Truman College saw a steady upward trend of students who continued their college studies even after completing the Incentive Program. Program participants’ grades and course completion rates surpassed those of the overall credit population. Incentive students earned A’s in 51 percent of all the credit courses they took in Fall 2008 and Spring 2009, while the Truman credit population overall earned “As” in 29 percent of their courses during the same period. Through Gateway, the model program expanded to two more colleges in Fall 2011 with work already underway to expand to a fourth college in Spring 2012. 

In similar fashion, CCC’s GED College Prep Program now introduces students to college programs and student services to encourage and facilitate the transition to post-secondary education.  

Adult Education Off-sites

This effort focuses on how CCC collaborates with community-based organizations in the selection and governance of our adult education off-campus sites at which CCC offers GED and ESL classes.  The initiative is providing: 

  • Criteria for selecting off-sites 

  • A new zone-based proposal for associating off-sites with the nearest college campuses 

  • Standard governance via a revised off-site agreement that will apply to all off-sites affiliated with any of the City Colleges of Chicago 

  • Drafting components for a standard recruitment strategy, including identifying which neighborhoods are highest need, using Census data on educational attainment and language as proxies for GED and ESL need, respectively. 

See the update provided to the CCC Board of Trustees on April 4, 2012. 

Accelerating Opportunities

For the typical adult education student or English Language Learner, it takes many years to gain the skills necessary to make the transition to college credit or career certification. In fact, there are few who actually earn a GED credential and move on to higher learning. 

The Accelerating Opportunities initiative, in the early stages of implementation at Daley College in manufacturing certification programs, moves students more quickly into college credit and occupational education opportunities by teaching basic skills in the context of real world occupational settings.  

Two instructors in the classroom provide opportunities for the students to learn basic skills through the lens of an occupational application.